Lacey establishes Human Services Workgroup to enhance community support


The Lacey City Council unanimously passed Resolution 1145, establishing a Human Services Workgroup during its meeting on March 19.

The resolution, proposed by Human Services Coordinator Michelle Chavez, outlines plans to form an ad hoc Human Services Workgroup tasked with conducting a comprehensive needs assessment.

This assessment aims to identify priority areas for the 2024 Human Services Grant Program, explained Chavez.

Chavez emphasized the importance of community involvement in reviewing grant applications from interested parties.

“We did get feedback that the council really values their input in applications, and they would like to do a joint meeting with the workgroup if the workgroup is established,” said Chavez.

Establishing the Human Services Workgroup follows the allocation of $300,000 in the 2024 Budget of Lacey towards creating a reliable and accessible Human Services Grant Program. This program seeks to replace ad hoc funding previously provided to various nonprofit organizations, ensuring a more streamlined and consistent approach to community support initiatives.

In preparation for establishing the workgroup, city staff researched existing human services programs in other communities across Washington state and beyond.

According to the staff report, insights gleaned from interviews with five communities—including Bellevue, Issaquah, Lakewood, Marysville, and Hillsboro—helped inform the structure and priorities of Lacey's Human Services Grant Program.

Key findings from the research include the prevalence of stand-alone human services grant programs funded by general funds, the utilization of advisory boards or workgroups to advise on funding allocation, and the implementation of competitive grant application processes to determine funding recipients.

Additionally, most surveyed communities conducted needs assessments to inform their priorities, with some allowing funding for social services programming and smaller capital projects.


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